🌍 Watch our entire Earth Explained! series: ▶️ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZ3CjNbCdQe956XnnhX6Nxg24oAcYvgrm

“The Line” is Saudi Arabia’s bold vision for the future of civilization: an ultra-modern city designed to house 1 million people and be entirely pollution-free. ↠Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/c/TerraMaterOfficial?sub_confirmation=1

But there’s one problem – it’s in the middle of the desert. And cities require a lot of water.

Enter the Solar Dome, a new desalination system built on existing technology. It’s supposed to be a low-cost, efficient, and carbon-neutral way of turning saltwater into fresh water. With water scarcity already threatening the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is the world leader in desalination, but the process does pose problems. We take a closer look at the environmental costs of desalination, and how new innovation like the Solar Dome is trying to tackle these issues.

Thank you for watching, liking, and sharing! Keep up to speed with new environment and conservation stories by subscribing to our channel and signing up for alerts.

Story by Philip Jaime Alcazar: https://www.youtube.com/user/philipalcazar

Voice-Over: Julian Nightingall
Motion Graphics: Joerg Eisenprobst
Producer & Editor: Philip-Jaime Alcazar
Script Editor: Eleanor Updegraff
Sound Design: Hubert Weninger

A Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH Production
Contact: social (at) terramater.at


1 – Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone in 2007

2 – Svetlana V Boriskina et al.: Nanomaterials for the water-energy nexus. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MiT), 2019.

3 – WIRED: “What’s inside this giant ‘solar dome’ coming to Saudi Arabia” July 2017

4 – Aondohemba Aende et al.: Seawater Desalination: A Review of Forward Osmosis Technique, Its Challenges, and Future Prospects. University of Leeds, 2020.

5 – Edward R Jones et al.: The state of desalination and brine production: A global outlook. Utrecht University, 2019.

6 – Ashraf Sadik Hassan et al.: PV and CSP solar technologies & desalination: economic analysis. Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, 2015.

7 – NEOM official website: https://www.neom.com/

8 – WIRED: “What’s inside this giant ‘solar dome’ coming to Saudi Arabia”
July 2017.

9 – Construction Week: NEOM inks deal to construct first ‘solar dome’ tech desalination plant. February 2020.

10 – Chris Sansom: Sun, Salt and Saudi Mega Cities. Featured News Article at Solar Water Plc. December 2020

11 – Malcolm Aw (Founder, Executive Chairman & Chief Technology Officer of Solar Water Plc) – Solarwater the Movie. https://youtu.be/y0EYj4Kzskc



  • @terramater

    🌍 Watch our entire Earth Explained! series: ▶ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZ3CjNbCdQe956XnnhX6Nxg24oAcYvgrm

  • @AlxanderBrd

    Correct me if im wrong but arnt the minerals in the brine useful? The salt and silica are both high value byproducts.

  • @LeeroyFan101

    So a giant solar still basically.

  • @shandor2522

    This video is outdated. Israel is indeed already refilling the Sea of Galilee with desalinated water. They’re sharing tons of Galilee’s freshwater with Jordan, so where’s the crisis?

  • @gsestream

    use black trash bags instead. they work like your normal cactus plants.

  • @zman28159

    Can't we make a fuel from the salt to run the desalination process?

  • @user-de3ez9lf3e

    Catching the pure water from the air

  • @user-de3ez9lf3e

    Solar energy to vaporize the ocean water and condense to the pure water

  • @ali-amaankhan3657

    it palestine not israfake land was a mistake in the clip

  • @BariczzsoltOfficial

    In Vienna we’re extremely lucky ! We got our water from the mountains ( the Alps ) which is one of the best water in all Europe, efficient and cheap

  • @AironSmieciowy-di3qy

    Great video!

  • @NTSRFR4

    Why don't they just paint the domes black instead of using the mirrors. It may take a little longer, but there will be a huge amount of heat inside there to cause evaporation, instead of using costly mirrors that are also costly and labor intensive to maintain.

  • @Brian-uy2tj

    One solution may be to allow the evaporation vessel (6:27) to build up salt until it has a reasonable amount and every few months, years, (whatever) the salt is excavated and sold as a commercially viable by product. Even if little profit was made it is far better than spending vast amounts on getting rid of it.

  • @YoussefKareemBouiahadj-xn3od

    Atmospheric Water Generator

  • @zemtek420

    They stole my idea. i been saying to use solar domes for desalination for at least 10 years now. Its good either finally someone heard me or another great mind like mine.

  • @Richard-me2pq

    Stop pretending to be so helpless about what to do with the salt after desalinization. Sell it! Stop wringing your hands saying, "Whatever shall we do ….. My goodness!"

  • @adriancollette7010

    This dog should only have seawater to drink from a bowl

  • @guiller2371

    Instead of exploiting desalination forever; why not to use it to create artificial rivers and ponds capable to create new aquifers in the long term?

  • @cucukikiable

    Without pollution ??? 😂 😂 😂

  • @mollaimdhadulla9962

    how about creating frashwater,electricity and domestic salt with solar energy in a single plant

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